15 Inflation-Fighting Tips for Saving Money at the Grocery Store That Actually Work

Do you want to stop spending so much money at the grocery store? Here are the best ways to save money at the grocery store and eat healthy. 

Grocery shopping can be expensive, especially if you’re not aware of the sales techniques that they have in store. Once you know these tips and tricks, it will be easier for you to save money at the grocery store. 

You see, retail stores and online retailers are putting all their efforts into their sales techniques to sell more of their products to you. They want you to buy as much as possible to make a maximum profit off you. 

Luckily my goal is to teach you how to save money when you’re doing groceries or going to the store. I mean, doing groceries and making your own meals is still the cheapest way to go about it. 

1. Meal Plan

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Meal planning is something that impacted my life for the better. We spend less time cooking, we spend less time doing groceries, we eat more vegetables, we rarely waste food, and we save a lot of money. 

If you are someone who struggles to eat at home, I would recommend you try out $5 Meal Plan. It is the easiest and most convenient meal planning service. They send their meal plans to your email so that you can start meal planning right away.

2. Make A Grocery List

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Start by making your grocery list. This is an absolute must that will help you to not forget things. In addition, it will help you stick to items that are on the list only instead of buying things that you don’t need. 

Shopping with a grocery list can be a good thing when you are not sure what you have at home. You buy yet another product you already have in your pantry, while you forget that one essential item that you really needed. Having a grocery list prevents all of that. I’m a fan!

3. Avoid The Middle Aisles

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Grocery stores are super smart and put most of the fresh products at different ends of the store. The milk, bread, and produce are often found on opposite sides of the store. This is smart because you have to go through all the aisles to get there and resist all temptations along the way. 

When the stores are placing the necessary food in one place, you can get in and get out without passing by the majority of the products. That’s not how you sell things. If you need to cross the entire store and walk through different aisles, you will likely spend more money.  

4. Never Buy Food Hungry

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If there is one thing I’ve learned over the past years, it’s: never go to the store hungry. When I go grocery shopping after work before dinner, I always buy more than I need. 

One important thing is to eat before you go grocery shopping or go on the weekends when you can go whenever you want. If you go grocery shopping when hungry, you will buy more unnecessary things that are not on the list. 

5. Free Samples

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When you’re walking through a grocery store and they are offering free food samples, we all know it’s hard to resist. 

The thing is, that little bit of food can make you hungry. And the previous point already mentioned it, never shop for food when you are hungry. Besides that, you may end up buying the thing you tried because you liked it.

When you are eating and home and you are sticking to your grocery list, it becomes much easier to save money to the grocery store! 

6. Eat With The Seasons

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It is a great thing to eat with the seasons. This means the food tastes better, it will be more regional, and it will save you a ton of money!

When you’re buying food out of season, the prices are seriously more expensive. The products need to travel further and you notice that in the price. 

7. Change The Entire Store Layout

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Another smart thing grocery stores do is change their entire store layout periodically. I have seriously noticed stores changing entire food sections every year or so.

Why would they do that? So that you can’t find what you need the next time you go shopping. You are walking through the grocery store and searching for what you need. Along the way you run into some items that you would not have bought otherwise. This increases the chance of you buying something extra for the stores. 

You can prevent this by making sure you get what you came for, even though you are searching for the things that you’re usually buying. 

8. No Shopping Baskets, Only Big Carts

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I noticed that while on my mini-retirement in South and Central America, many stores don’t offer shopping baskets anymore. Especially the big chain stores, they only offer big shopping carts. 

When I look at myself, I know that I am often buying more stuff when I have a big shopping cart compared to when I have a smaller basket. It is just much easier to fill your cart with more things without noticing it. This can be avoided by sticking to your list, or choosing a basket when that would fit all your groceries. 

9. Buying Things Just Because Of Sale

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Stores have sales often. They use sales for a lot of different things. The major reason is that you come into their shop for the sale and you’re buying other products that are not on sale. 

Stick to the items that you wanted to buy in the first place. Only make use of the sales if it is something that you need. It is easy to overspend when grocery shopping if you’re buying many products that are on sale. 

If you’re having a hard time with that, I suggest a no-spend challenge to get the hang of it.

10. Don’t Buy Bottled Water

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Bottled water is something we don’t need in our lives. Most people who live in westernized countries can drink water from the tap. Think about all the plastic and all the money you’re wasting!

If you’re not living in a place where the tap water is drinkable, I understand that. That’s not an excuse to buy bottles of water every week. You can make a one-time purchase like a water filter or a filter bottle and use that going forward.  

11. Avoid Brand Names

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This may be an open door, but I bet some people need to hear this. When you’re going to the supermarket you’re used to buying the same brand every time you go. You don’t need to buy the brand name to have a good quality product. 

If you go for generic options, these are often much cheaper. 

12. Eye Level Is Buy Level

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When you’re doing groceries, you tend to look at the items that are placed at eye level. This is a known marketing trick and all retailers and marketers are applying this. 

It’s human nature to look at the things that are right in front of you and buy what you see first. The items at eye level are often the most expensive and priciest products. 

13. Precut Items Markup

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If you’re buying something that’s precut, be aware that this is much more expensive. Things like sliced fruits, cut vegetables, and cut or seasoned meat are marked up a lot. Often times they are also packaged in plastic and produce more waste.

Pay attention next time you’re in the supermarket. In my supermarket, the precut carrots are almost three times as expensive compared to regular carrots for example. That’s ridiculous!

14. Sale Items At Checkout

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When you’re waiting in line to check out your groceries, there are a million small things that you can buy. One of the things they often place there are items on sale. 

If you’re waiting in line and you’re seeing what there is in the sales bin, they hope you will take some of the items home with you. 

15. Different Pricing Tactics

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When you’re looking for the lowest price in the store, there are several things they do to make items seem cheaper:

  • Rounding different – where they price products for $1.99 instead of $2. It seems less expensive, even though you know the price is the same. 
  • Bulk discount – they may offer a product for $1.99 and you will get 11 for $20. It may be a good deal if you really need all 11 of them, mostly it is just a waste of money. The store gets a bulk discount and your total price is not even that much cheaper. 

Make sure that what you are buying is actually what you need, not because it is a discounted price. 

What ways do you use to save money at the grocery store? Do you use other tips?

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